Hypothyroidism is one of the burning health issues in India. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body lacks sufficient Thyroid hormone. Since the main purpose of thyroid hormone is to “run the body’s metabolism,” it is understandable that people will have symptoms associated with a slow metabolism with this disorder. In fact 50% of women and10% of male may have some degree of thyroid hormone deficiency nowadays. Hypothyroidism is more common and millions of people are currently hypothyroid and don’t know it is present in the pre-clinical state. Thus the functional changes start in the body and by the time they reach the doctor, the structural changes are already fully established. Their daily quality of life, work performance and economic productivity suffers
Incidence and prevalence of the disease : Recent studies suggest that one out of ten people are suffering with the disease in India . It is found in adolescence of both the sexes. As age progresses, hypothyroidism is common particularly in women and those of older age. Middle age males are also suffering with the disease. The female to male ratio in a 40 million Indian population is 5:1
Causes of Hypothyroidism
There are mainly two common causes of hypothyroidism.
- The first is due to inflammation of the thyroid gland either previously or currently suffering with the condition, which leaves a large percentage of the cells of the thyroid damaged or totally dead and incapable of producing sufficient hormone
The most common cause of thyroid gland failure is called Chronic Auto Immune Thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, a form of thyroid inflammation caused by damage to the thyroid tissue. Damage occurs because Immune cells which usually fight infection and colds attack the body’s own thyroid tissue instead.
- b) The second major cause is the broad category of “medical treatments.”
1) SURGERY-Removal of the thyroid gland so the total number of thyroid producing cells left within the body are not enough to meet the needs of the body for thyroid hormone. Thus the patient will develop hypothyroidism. This is usually done with the thyroid cancer cases.
2) RADIOACTIVE IODINE THERAPY
3) SECONDARY HYPOTHYROIDISM – Eg. diseases of pituitary gland or hypothalamus may cause thyroid hormone deficiency
- CERTAIN MEDICINES may also cause hypothyroidism. A medicine called lithium used to treat psychiatric disorders has been known to cause hypothyroidism.
- ANTI-HYPERTHYROID MEDICINES – Treating hyperthyroidism with anti-thyroid medicine can also cause a shift from hyperthyroidism to hypothyroidism.
- UNDER ACTIVE GLANDS- Some people may be born with an underactive thyroid.
- PREGNENCY :-In some cases, the hypothyroidism develops during pregnancy which is a common condition of women under stress and gives a signal to the patient for the later development of the disease
OTHER CAUSES : Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism worldwide. Once researchers realized this, health authorities around the world began adding iodine to table salt. As I have treated more than 1500 thyroid patients in my college OPD and also in my personal clinic for more than 20yrs, I found the unnecessary intake of iodine in a patient stimulates the gland and patients develops an artificial disease.
It was found that from 1997 onwards the government of India under WHO guidelines had introduced Iodized Table Salt as compulsory in daily food. This strategy was effective in correcting iodine deficiency. But it had an unanticipated and undesired effect. In countries where iodine has been added to table salt, the rates of autoimmune thyroid disease have risen. This was even personally also observed by me in different cases of hypothyroid where I substituted plain sea salt or rock salt. Most all of the patients showed significant improvement in the disease state.
Research has proved that restricting intake of iodine can reverse hypothyroidism. In one study, 78% of patients with Hashimoto’s regained normal thyroid function with iodine restriction alone.
Why does this happen? It happens because increased iodine intake, especially in supplement form, can increase the autoimmune attack on the thyroid. Iodine reduces the activity of an enzyme called thyroid peroxidase (tpo). Tpo is required for proper thyroid hormone production.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
- Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
- Coarse, dry hair
- Dry, rough pale skin
- Hair fall in bunches
- Cold intolerance can’t tolerate cold temperatures like those around them
- Muscle cramps and frequent muscle pains
- Depression – Leading to PSYCOLOGICAL DISORDER , MOOD SWING ETC
- Memory loss
- Abnormal menstrual cycles
- Decreased libido
Homoeopathic Medicines due to their infinitesimal light isotopic forms are capable of penetrating the Hypothalamus-Pituitary Axis. Homeopathic remedies have the power to reverse the functional and immune disturbances of the thyroid gland.
Homeopathic Medicines Most often Used In Hypothyroidism
- BARYTA CARBONICUM
I would now like to discuss a group of cases which I had treated with Pulsatilla Nigricans as a constitutional as well as an intercurrent remedy. As per the literature of homoeopathy not much emphasis is put on the role of Pulsatilla in the treatment of hypo-thyroidism. During the adolescent period of a girl the hormonal changes occur .The role of Pulsatilla Nigricans also has the same effect as a drug, on a girl of that age. It stabilises the hormonal disturbance and thus I found that adolescent ypothyroihhh hypothyroidism can be controlled excellently with the drug.
In this context I have treated around 200 cases of Hypthyroidism where I found excellent results with the drug. symptoms like, irregular menses, profuse menses, mood swings, gain in weight, irritability etc. can be controlled very nicely with Pulsatilla. I remember a case of adolescent thyroid which came from Vidisha a small town in Madhya Pradesh where I had treated a girl with Nat Mur 10M followed by Pulsatilla 10M. Her hypothyroid was cured completely. The Gynaecologist nearby asked her to enquire which steroid I had used for the patient. I said point blank that we in Homoeopathy have no steroids.
For the process of treatment many times it happens that after giving a drug, if there is amenorrhoea, which is a very common problem ,the patient starts bleeding profusely and after certain periods if the TSH level is checked it becomes normal. My personal experience also shows that we should not use any remedy to stop the menses as it is a process of elimination and any sort of interference can totally reverse the case. Use only food supplements for the patient instead.
Another vulnerable age group of women suffering from this disease, are those pre-menopausal women, from 35yrs – 45yrs of age. I have experience with middle aged women and men as I have being treating 60% of them with Pulsatilla Nigrans, Natrum Mur , Lycopodium , Calcarea Carb , Lachesis as constitutional remedies and Thyroidinum , Iodium, Bromium as intercurrent remedies . I’ve used Sulphur to end the treatment as an antipsoric remedy to prevent recurrence.
Among these remedies, Pulsatilla played a major role in the treatment of the disease. I have treated nearly 150 patients with Pulsatilla as a constitutional as well as intercurrent remedy.
Here we find mostly family tension, nuclear family work load, severe suppression at the emotional level, as well as weeping disposition, memory loss, mood swings and suppressed menses as presenting complaints. In women, decreased libido is a common factor along with the other constitutional symptoms.
The mood swings , weeping disposition, headache, GIT disturbance as well as diarrhea, decreased libido, weight gain, brooding thoughts and thirstlessness are excellently taken care by the drug.
Natural Food or Habits for Thyroid Problems
1. Eat Sea Vegetables Twice a Week –Sea vegetables are a good natural source of iodine to support the thyroid.
2. Don’t eat soya foods and cruciferous vegetables if you have thyroid issues. Raw cruciferous vegetables may not be the best choice. Like cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower, they contain chemicals that may disrupt the thyroid if consumed in large quantities.
3. We already know about the connection between cell phones and brain tumors. But this little radiation machine that you hold up to your ear is awfully close to your thyroid gland as well. A good alternative is to get a headset to use while speaking on the phone.
4 Do Yoga and Meditation
The yoga Asanas can stimulate and support the entire endocrine system. The sarvangasana is especially beneficial for stimulating the thyroid gland.
I have found Pulsatilla to be one of the best polychrest remedies to treat thyroid patients specially hypothyroid females (and some males).